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Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Flat Heads, Detatched Earlobes, & Bologna Sandwiches

Having been adopted, I found that during my childhood, I would latch on to ANY similar physical trait that one of my adoptive brothers or sister had. It would essentially be an effort in futility, but to someone looking for her "place" in the family, I settled for anything. My sister's face was covered with freckles, just like my mother's and I was jealous. But the day I found a freckle on my own face, I was absolutely sure that they were all lying to me about being hanai'd (adopted). My resolve crumbled when the "freckle" disappeared two days after I'd hit it with Stridex. My other sister had hazel/green eyes like my father. In high school, I bought colored contact lenses. My brother had curly black hair. I would perm mine. I just wanted to find some similarity. Even if it was minute.

I thought back on that last Sunday. My sister Ulu has been visiting with us this last week. I picked her up from LAX on Wednesday morning, she stayed with us the night, and then on Thursday I put her on the train to San Diego where she stayed with our sister Loke for a few days. On Sunday, Charlie and I drove down to San Diego to spend the day with Loke and her husband Phil, our brother Lono, and Ulu. We were all sitting around watching the Charger game, when Phil got up to get a drink in the kitchen. As he walked behind me, he put his hand on my head and gave a gentle squeeze...

Phil: I'm not being fresh Pua. I just wanted to see if you had a flat head too.

At this point, both Ulu and Loke began to crack up.

Pua: Excuse me?

Phil: These two (pointing at the girls) both have flat spots on their heads. I was blown away. The exact same flat spot.

I went over to Loke and felt her head. Sure enough, she had a flat spot on the back of her head, near the crown. Then I went over to Ulu and felt her head. I'll be damned. It was exactly the same. I put my hand on the back of my head and started feeling around. Suddenly, that old, childhood feeling I felt when I couldn't find the physical similarity between myself and my adopted brother and sisters started to rear its ugly head. No flat spot. I was actually disappointed. It wasn't enough for me that we look alike. I wanted a flat head too, dammit!

Pua: (pouting) I'm not a Flathead like you guys! No fair!

Then Lono came to my rescue.

Lono: No worries Sis. I don't have a flat head either.

I can't begin to tell you my relief. I stuck my tongue out at my sisters and hugged my brother. We laughed and started talking about how with 14 kids in the family, there's bound to be some features some share and some don't share. We compared earlobes and eye shapes and our mutual agreement that bologna sandwiches only taste good with Miracle Whip and not mayo. It felt like family. And it was okay that I didn't have a flat head.


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